10 things not to say at your first job
“I don’t make enough to do that”
The thing is, you knew what the job was and how much you’d be paid when you said yes, signed a contract and came to work that first day. Now, if the task is illegal or wayyy nasty (um, like scrubbing vomit off the walls of a store dressing room), it’s OK to politely decline. But that also might be a sign it’s time to find a new job.
“It’s not my job”
Nope. Whatever you’re asked to is your job. If you don’t want to do it, you can always quit. But just because one particular task wasn’t mentioned when you interviewed doesn’t mean it’s never gonna be asked of you.
“This is boring”
Chances are, your boss knows it’s boring. That doesn’t mean she wants to hear or—or expects you not to do it. If you’re bored to tears, try asking for new challenges to balance out other things on your to-do list.
“But I did that yesterday”
A lot of jobs involve doing the same tasks day in and day out, while others are more varied. It depends entirely on the field and even the office, boss and team you’re working on. If you’re interested in having a job that changes constantly, keep that in mind in the future.
“I’m really bad at that”
Think of this as a chance to learn. Ask for help—that’s what your boss and coworkers are there for. And when you do, listen carefully and ask as many questions as you need to so that you can do it right and well by yourself next time. Don’t forget to take notes!
“Oh, I can’t work tomorrow”
It’s totally fine to need a day off, or to switch up your schedule, but it’s disrespectful to request it without giving sufficient notice. When you start your job, ask your supervisor what the policy is for requesting time off or a different schedule, then do your best to stick to it. If something sudden comes up, be apologetic and let your manager know as soon as possible.
“I have to leave early today for a hair appointment”
Informing your manager the day of an appointment that you won’t be working as scheduled is unacceptable, and could leave them in a lurch. But adding in the bit about the hair appointment? Well, that just makes you sound flippant and flaky. Make sure appointments that take place during scheduled work hours are essential and un-missable.
“I’m sorry I’m late, my alarm didn’t go off”
This one is a non-excuse. Simply put, it shouldn’t happen. Set multiple alarms if you need to, but do get your booty into work on time. If you are delayed, let your manager know ASAP and check in again later if necessary.
“I don’t like Sarah; I won’t work with her anymore”
Work isn’t a play date, and you don’t get to pick the girls and guys you work with. Just imagine if your manager had to arrange a schedule making sure that every single worker liked the team members she was scheduled with! Grit your teeth and be civil. It’s just a few hours.
“Could you talk to my mom about that?”
Time to put your big girl pants on, babe. This is your job, and if you’re old enough to be paid for your work, you’re old enough to handle it yourself. Talk to your parents about problems and get their input—definitely—but make the tough calls and have the difficult conversations yourself, girlie. You can do it!
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